Dodgers Nation will be writing about ‘Bellinger Bombs’. The Dodgers have one of the best young power hitters in the game under contract for the foreseeable future. Writers like Sam Miller have asked the question ‘What if Cody Bellinger is going to break the all-time home run record’. As the career home runs continue to pile up, we will examine each one in greater detail. We will allow you; the fan, to savor each one as they should be. Because what’s more fun than a home run? (You can look back at the collection here).
Cody Bellinger had not homered since you were planning your Fourth of July barbecue. So sometimes – when one of your favorite players is slumping – you have to jump on a plane for him. You fly to the city he plays, and you buy a ticket; and then you bring him the luck he needs to get over the hump.
Although, I think many of us felt like the Bellinger breakout was coming. Joe Davis, included.
So there’s that! #Joestradamus
— Brook Smith (@brookme3) August 3, 2018
This was a memorable one. The foul pole grand slam that took place in the game the Dodgers scored the most runs ever at Dodger Stadium (21). I was in the right field pavilion; section 306, to see this one leave the yard live. When it left the bat, I was saying ‘get foul, get foul’. It was a towering pop fly that looked like the Brewers’ right fielder Christian Yelich might have a play on.
When the I heard the joyous ding of the yellow pole meeting Rawlings in right, I looked to see Bellinger’s reaction. It was pure joy: like a little leaguer that just hit his first. Cody Bellinger’s 57th career home run was a memorable even in so many ways.
The Home Run
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 3, 2018
It’s great to have a reason to click on Bellinger’s home run log on baseball-reference once again. His 28th home run at Dodger Stadium was also his 27th to right field. Although he moved to first base late in the game, he started in center; and this was the fifth time he’s homered as the Dodgers’ center fielder.
It was his second against the Milwaukee Brewers, as it was the second time he’s dialed long distance off Jhoulys Chacin. The towering fly ball goes down as his third career grand slam, and 40th home run off right-handed pitching.
Bellinger is now tied with Paul Lo Duca for 55th place on the franchise all-time home run list.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
This is that great part of the post where we explain the role that Bellinger’s homer had on the final score outcome.
When Bellinger stepped in the box, the Dodgers held a 2-1 lead over the Brewers, and were a 76 percent favorite to win the game. Now, part of that factors in that Clayton Kershaw was on the bump; and the Dodgers had the bases juiced with just one out. The Dodgers were expected to do some damage in this spot – but to get four runs with one swing of the bat maximized the spot. After Bellinger’s blast clinked off the foul pole, the Dodgers improved to a 93 percent win expectancy. This was a swing of 17 percent!
This represents one of the largest leveraged home runs all season by Bellinger in terms of helping the team to a victory. That said, the Dodgers had 15 more runs left in them. It’s fun to look at the chart above; this game was ruled over in about the fifth inning in everyone’s mind.
Jhoulys Chacin is a 30-year old run-of-the-mill righty who has bounced around the National League. He’s already part of this exclusive club of hurlers who have allowed a home run to Bellinger; he served up his second career home run in San Diego on May 5th, 2017.
Chacin has been decent in 2018 for the Brewers. His 10-3 record fell to 10-4, but he has a sub 3.50 ERA and entered the game with just ten homers allowed in 127.2 innings despite pitching many of his starts in Miller Park.
Despite spending a major portion of his career pitching for the Rockies, his career ERA is south of 4.00 and has a record of 69-71. He’s a solid – but short of superstar bit league starting pitcher. By all accounts though, this is a guy you look at as being Cody Bellinger’s ‘type’ if there is such a thing.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
RHP Jhoulys Chacin (12)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) August 3, 2018
I don’t have to speculate what this looked like to fans who were live at the park. The launch angle of the ball does not lie, it was hit very high. The 39 degrees at it’s highest point do it justice, it just looked like a high, long (foul) ball. Bellinger caught an inside 80 mile per hour slider off Chacin and got his hands quickly inside the ball. It left the bat at just 96 miles per hour, and fate kept it fair on this night.
This wasn’t a towering drive, hitting the foul pole just below where the ‘Fly Emirates’ banner begins; and checking in at 342 feet.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
The crowd exploded, and the kid had not homered in a month. This came on a milestone night for the Dodgers – and it kicked off the avalanche of runs that were to come.
Despite not coming off an ace pitcher, or being a tape-measure shot; I’m going to give special credence to this home run. Just because the Dodgers crossed the plate 21 times in this game doesn’t mean a grand slam loses it’s prominence. It’s great to be writing this post again, and we give Bellinger a high score for his efforts.
Dodgers Nation Prominence HR Score: 9.0
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